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Golden Key Frequently Asked Questions
click the questions below to see the answers:

  1. What is Golden Key?
  2. What is an honour society?
  3. What are the benefits of joining Golden Key?
  4. What are the requirements for membership?
  5. Who are Golden Key members?
  6. Now that I have received the letter of invitation, what do I do?
  7. How to join?
  8. Where and how do I pay?
  9. How is the membership fee used?
  10. After I completed the profile form online OR posted my profile form what happens then?
  11. The Golden Key Chapter Award:
  12. What scholarships and awards are available through joining Golden Key?
  13. After I become a member, am I required to participate?
  14. The deadline has passed; can I still join?
  15. I have lost my letter of invitation; can I get another one from you?
  16. I meet Golden Key’s requirements, but I haven’t received a letter. Why?
  17. If I am not on the list of eligible students, but I think I qualify. What should I do?
  18. I recently transferred to this university and have not received an invitation, though I think I qualify; can I join?
  19. I received an invitation from my previous university, but I am currently studying at another university which also has a Golden Key chapter; which chapter should I join?
  20. Are graduate students allowed to join?
  21. I am already a member, but I have not heard anything from the Society since I joined. Why?
  22. I joined last year, and I received another invitation this year OR I joined Golden Key while attending another university. Do I have to join and pay the membership fee again?
  23. What happens if my cumulative academic percentage average drops after I join?
  24. If I can not afford to join, I have the following options:
  25. Will I continue to receive benefits after graduation?
  26. How can Golden Key offer me Career Assistance?

1. What is Golden Key?
Golden Key is an internationally recognised, non-profit organization affiliated with over 400 universities throughout Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Africa, India, the Bahamas and the United States. The Society's mission is to enable members to realize their potential by connecting individual achievement with service and lifelong opportunity. Golden Key is the world's largest honour society and is a mission focused, values based and demographics driven organization. With 36 years of rich tradition, Golden Key remains committed to scholarship, career development, leadership and community service. Golden Key South Africa started in 2000, has 14 active chapters currently and touched the lives of more than 70,000 South Africans.

Golden Key is a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and a registered Section 21 company in South Africa.

When and how was Golden Key founded?
Golden Key National Honour Society was founded by a group of undergraduate students and faculty members at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 29, 1977. In 2001, the society modified its name to Golden Key International Honour Society to reflect its diversity and global presence. The spelling of “Honour” was utilized to observe the more globally accepted spelling. return to top

2. What is an honour society?
Honour societies have been recognised by universities in the United States for more than two centuries.

The primary function of this academic honour society includes: providing academic recognition to high achieving students, establishing professional and social contacts for these students within a network of universities, bringing together students from diverse faculties and degree programmes within each university, reinforcing students’ interaction with university staff. return to top

3. What are the benefits of joining Golden Key?
• Lifetime Membership Certificate.
• Academic international recognition on your campus and internationally.
• Add Golden Key membership to CV to add prestige to your qualifications.
• Opportunity to apply for the Golden Key member only Scholarships & Awards.
• Leadership development opportunities.
• Opportunity to attend international and national conferences.
• Interaction with other students and university leaders.
• Access to an international network of universities.
• Membership benefits are transferable from campus to campus.
• Community engagement service opportunities.
• Targeted Career Opportunity e-communications
• Events on Campus (professional development, leadership, CV tips etc.)
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4. What are the requirements for membership?
• Degree courses only.
• Students must have completed at least one full year of study at a university.
• Top 15% of students per field of study in any undergraduate and post-graduate degree.
• Full and part-time students can receive invitations.
• Local academic average cut-off is set by the university and varies from faculty to faculty. return to top

5. Who are Golden Key members?
Golden Key membership has grown to a very large network of over one million members from 151 nationalities.

There are more 2.1 million Golden Key members worldwide, of which more than 70 000 are South African.

Members include teachers, doctors, engineers, university presidents, social workers, entrepreneurs, politicians, military leaders, and many more.

Well known US honorary members include: Colin Powell, John Glenn, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.

Well known South African honorary members include: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Judge Edwin Cameron, Minister Trevor Manuel, Minister Naledi Pandor, Mr Francois Pienaar, Mr Tito Mboweni and Mr Clem Sunter. return to top

6. Now that I have received the letter of invitation, what do I do?

  1. Read your personalized the invitation letter
  2. Read the brochure
  3. Visit the websites
  4. Stop by the information tables before the membership deadline date (date, time and venue listed in invitation).
  5. JOIN NOW using Option A or B
  6. Make the deadline date listed in your invitation
  7. Attend the new member ceremony

Keep your e-mail address and cell phone number UPDATE for communications.
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7. How to join?
Option A: Join On-line:
• Visit www.joingoldenkey.org.za and click “Join Now”
• Use your Personalised Online Acceptance Code (see above)
• Click “Save and Continue”
• Complete the On-line Membership Profile Form
• E-mail proof of payment or Internet Banking Confirmation to paymentsa@goldenkey.org.za

Option B: Complete the enclosed New Member Profile Form and return it with a copy of the proof of payment in the pre-addressed envelope. return to top

8. Where and how do I pay?
Payment options

Cheque OR Direct Deposit OR Electronic Funds Transfer (Internet/On-line Banking) Please note: If you join on-online, you can use any payment option.

Proof of payment
Reference: Use your First Name and Surname. Please DO NOT use your student number or nickname. Faulty referencing can result in your payment not being allocated to you, causing a delay in your membership.

Banking details
• GOLDEN KEY INTERNATIONAL HONOUR SOCIETY
• ABSA, Menlyn Branch Code: 632005
• Cheque Account Number: 405 1611 339
• Reference: First Name and Surname

Once-off Membership Fee:
o R495.00 (incl. VAT)
o R585.00 (incl. VAT) + optional lapel pin

- Please DO NOT send cash or postal orders.
- NO foreign currency.
- NO FAXES or REGISTERED MAIL will be accepted.

If you pay by cheque, write your name and university on the back of the cheque.

If you make a direct deposit, write your FIRST NAME AND SURNAME as a reference on the slip. Please keep the original for your own reference and send in a photocopy of the slip. If we do not receive your deposit slip we can not confirm your application.

If you make an electronic transfer, include a printout as proof that the transaction was successful. return to top

9. How is the membership fee used?
The joining fee pays for membership benefits:

  • Part of the fee goes to direct disbursements for the members – certificate of membership, New Member Ceremony arrangements, programmes, scholarships, awards, publications.
  • Part of the fee goes to disbursements for international, national and local chapter development – regional conference, international conference and chapter training materials.
  • Part of the fee goes to operating expenses – administrative assistance, payroll, printing, postage, etc...
  • R70 of the R495.00 goes back to the local chapter at your university.
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10. After I completed the profile form online OR posted my profile form what happens then?
As soon as Golden Key South Africa receives your proof of payment your membership will be processed within five working days and a confirmation e-mail will be sent to your e-mail address as provided. You then have to RSVP for the New Member Ceremony online at www.goldenkey.org.za where you’ll be formally recognized and where you’ll receive your personalised life-time member certificate. And do not forget to apply for the New Member Chapter Awards online at www.goldenkey.org.za/chapterawards
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11. The Golden Key Chapter Award:
Each year, new members are eligible for the Golden Key Chapter Awards (3 Awards per chapter to the value of R2 000 each OR 2 Awards per chapter to the value of R3000 each).

Apply for a New Member Chapter Awards
As soon as your membership has been processed, you will receive a confirmation e-mail from Golden Key. This e-mail will contain your Golden Key Membership Number. Use this number to apply for the New Member Chapter Awards at www.goldenkey.org.za/chapterawards . These Awards are open to all new members whose applications are received by the deadline date.

Emphasis is placed on academic achievement, participation in university activities, demonstrated leadership, community service involvement and participation in extracurricular activities. return to top

12. What scholarships and awards are available through joining Golden Key?
Golden Key annually awards a total of US$ 1,000 000 to students through a variety of scholarship programmes.

Details of ALL the International Scholarships and Awards can be found on the web site: www.goldenkey.org under the Award Listings. return to top

13. After I become a member, am I required to participate?
Various opportunities to participate are available. Participation is purely voluntary. Golden Key was founded on the principle that any student who meets the established academic criteria can become a member and access the benefits offered. Participation is highly encouraged but voluntary.

However, Golden Key provides excellent networks and opportunities to actively participate at the local, regional, national and even international level. Thousands of Golden Key members have utilised these opportunities to develop their leadership skills, engage in community service, and enhance their personal network.

You can make the most out of your membership by:

  • Serving on the chapter executive committee.
  • Participating in the chapter’s service, academic or social activities.
  • Attending the annual Golden Key national and international conferences.
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14. The deadline has passed; can I still join?
Yes. Prospective Members have until 30 November of each year to join Golden Key.

Send your New Member Profile form with your proof of payment to the SA Office as soon as possible.

You may still attend the New Member Ceremony, but your certificate will not be presented to you at the Ceremony.

The certificate (and pin) will be mailed to the permanent address you provided on your New Member Profile form. return to top

15. I have lost my letter of invitation; can I get another one from you?
Yes. Once we verify that you have qualified for membership at our university, we can send you another letter of invitation. Contact the SA Office in this regard and/or if you still have questions. return to top

16. I meet Golden Key’s requirements, but I haven’t received a letter. Why?
There are a number of possible reasons:

  • The information was not received from the university due to privacy restrictions.
  • Have you moved or been married?
  • Did you recently complete all your first year subjects?
  • Did you recently transfer to the university from another institution?
  • Did you transfer to a different faculty or degree programme?
  • Your letter of invitation may have been sent to your permanent home address.
  • Your invitation could be lost in the mail.
  • Contact the SA Office in this regard and/or if you still have questions as Golden
  • Key SA Office can do an eligibility enquiry for you. return to top

17. If I am not on the list of eligible students, but I think I qualify. What should I do?
Contact the SA Office in this regard OR Complete an Eligibility Enquiry Form at the Campus Information Tables. return to top

18. I recently transferred to this university and have not received an invitation, though I think I qualify; can I join?
Once we verify that you are at least a second year student, and that you meet our academic cut-off requirements, we can send you a letter of invitation. Contact the Golden Key SA Office in this regard. return to top

19. I received an invitation from my previous university, but I am currently studying at another university which also has a Golden Key chapter; which chapter should I join?
You must join the chapter that sent you the invitation. You are more than welcome to attend your current university New Member Ceremony. We at the Golden Key SA Office needs to be informed as we need to prepare your certificate to be present at the ceremony you’ll attend. Then you should contact the chapter at your current university and make sure that they have your details.

You are entitled to participate in all the activities of your new chapter, because your Golden Key membership is transferable to any Golden Key chapter in the world.
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20. Are graduate students allowed to join?
Yes. If you are a Masters or Doctorate degree student and have completed your post-graduate degree and are not yet a Golden Key member – you’ll receive an invitation. Honours degree students who fall in the top15% list and who have not taken up Golden Key membership before, will also receive an invitation.

Even if you are a recent graduate and just completed your undergraduate degree you can also receive an invitation as it is based on your cumulative academic percentage average. Contact the Golden Key SA Office for further assistance. return to top

21. I am already a member, but I have not heard anything from the Society since I joined. Why?
Does Golden Key have your correct information (phone number, e-mail address, postal address)? Please update all contact information on the web site: www.goldenkey.org and SIGN IN. You will need your Golden Key Membership Number to do this which was sent to your e-mail address you provided on your Profile Form when you joined.

If you need your Membership Number, please contact the Golden Key SA Office or e-mail southafrica@goldenkey.org for assistance.

Do you check your e-mail inbox regularly? Remember, Golden Key mostly uses e-mail to communicate with its members and our messages won’t be delivered if your inbox is full. Please also make sure that your spam settings don’t block e-mails from Golden Key.

Did you attend any local chapter activities or meetings? This is the best way to get actively involved. return to top

22. I joined last year, and I received another invitation this year OR I joined Golden Key while attending another university. Do I have to join and pay the membership fee again?
No, you are only required to pay the Golden Key once-off membership fee at the point when you joined the Society. There are several reasons why you received another invitation:

  • Your name on our record, as you provided to us previously, does not perfectly match what the university recently provided us. Please disregard the invitation you received this year.
  • If you recently changed your name (got married), we would not be able to tell if you are a member. Please disregard the invitation and update your information with us at: www.goldenkey.org
  • You are now at another university and we did not know that you transferred. Please update your information with us at: www.goldenkey.org and get in touch with the local Golden Key chapter.

We apologise if you received another invite, but due to our prospective and current members privacy we discard previous top15% lists we receive annually from the universities. return to top

23. What happens if my cumulative academic percentage average drops after I join?
Your membership will not be withdrawn due to a lower percentage. We encourage you, however, to keep up the standard of academic excellence. return to top

24. If I can not afford to join, I have the following options:
The invitation to join is valid until 30 November in the year stated on your invitation letter, so you can save up and join after the deadline date. No applications will be accepted after 30 November each year.

Please note that partial payment can not be made to Golden Key. Speak to the Advisor at your Chapter about your Golden Key fee being subsidized. Please contact the Golden Key SA Office if you have further questions. return to top

25. Will I continue to receive benefits after graduation?
Opportunity to apply for 12 US$ 10,000 graduate scholarships and many more. Visit www.goldenkey.org and view the Scholarship and Award listings on-line.

Some members who have graduated stay involved with the local university’s Golden Key chapter.

As an Alumni Member you can also attend activities planned by any Golden Key chapter in South Africa.

Golden Key will stay in touch with you after your graduation to remind you of benefits as long as you update your contact information once a year on the web site: www.goldenkey.org return to top

26. How can Golden Key offer me Career Assistance?
From time to time, Golden Key partners (organisations and companies in South Africa who target top talent) will open career opportunities to Golden Key members to support their recruitment objectives. Golden Key members will be informed of such opportunities via e-mail. Golden Key does NOT share our members’ details with our partners and/or any third party.

View our Partners tab on www.goldenkey.org.za for more information on our corporate partners and affiliations. If you still have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Golden Key SA Office. You are also encouraged to visit the Golden Key SA Website: www.goldenkey.org.za return to top

If you still have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Golden Key SA Office.
You are also encouraged to visit the Golden Key SA Website: www.goldenkey.org.za

 

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